Summer Recipes
When summer does eventually get here, I wonder if you might like to try one or two of these delicious recipes including a couple of simple ice cream recipes, a classic fruit flan and some soft fruit recipes. Depending on what time of year you read this, they will either conjour up a vision of summer or provide a mouth-watering temptation. There are two different methods. One is made with cream and the other is made with a custard. The simplest method for Ice cream is the cream method
Ice Cream - The Cream Method
This is basically whipping cream, adding sugar, finally adding your flavourings, then pop it in the freezer. The cream that you can use can either be double, single, whipping, Crème fraiche, soured cream or a mixture!
This one is particularly good for the soft summer fruits, e.g., raspberries, loganberries or blueberries. Your choices are endless.
300ml cream, (again whichever one you want to use or a combination of any one!)
100g caster sugar
225ml - 300ml pureed fruit [To do this just gently simmer whatever fruit you fancy in a drop of water and a tablespoon of caster sugar. Simmer till soft. Then pass it through a sieve, if you want a smooth ice cream.]
In a cold bowl whisk the cream until soft peaks.
Fold in the sugar making sure it has dissolved
Fold in the fruit
No beating is necessary for this, just freeze. Take it out of the freezer to soften about 30 minutes before you want it.
Ice Cream - The Custard Method
The custard method may take a little more time and care, but don't be put off from having a go.
4 egg yolks (use the whites for a meringue)
100g caster sugar
375ml milk
125ml cream
1tsp vanilla essence or one pod. (Optional)
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until almost white
Boil the milk (with the vanilla if you're using it)
Whisk the milk onto the egg and sugar mix and mix well
Return this into a clean saucepan, place on a low heat
Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon, then add the cream and your flavourings
Freeze in your ice cream maker if you have one, otherwise freeze in your freezer. Don't forget to give it a good stir after about 1 hour to break up any ice crystals, just so it doesn't get too hard.
Once again you can add whatever you like. In the past I've made coffee ice cream, raspberry ice cream, chocolate ice cream, strawberry ice cream. I've even used marmalade. Let your imaginations run riot!
Summer Fruit Flan
This is a classic recipe, and once you have mastered the method, it can be used for a million dishes!
For the flan case you will need:
200g plain flour
125g butter
50g sugar
1tbs water
For the filling: - (Crème Patissiere)
2 eggs
100g caster sugar
50g flour or 25g cornflour
10g custard powder
½ ltr milk
Vanilla pod or essence
Method to make the flan case
Rub the butter into the flour till it resembles fine breadcrumbs
Add the sugar and mix well
Then add the water, just enough to combine the pastry, then pop into the fridge to chill
After about an hour, roll out the pastry and line your flan dish, then blind bake for about 15 20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool
Method to make the Crème Patissiere
Mix the eggs and sugar in a bowl till almost white
Mix in the flour and custard powder, or cornflour
Bring the milk to the boil, then pour over the egg and flour mixture and whisk well
Return to the pan and bring to the boil till thickened, then add a few drops of vanilla essence or a vanilla pod
Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl
Sprinkle the top with caster sugar or cover with cling film, making sure the film is in contact with the pastry cream to prevent a skin forming
Allow to cool
Now take your cool flan case and pour in your cold pastry cream. It may need spreading out because it would have thickened up. On the top of your flan decorate with whatever fruit you fancy. I recommend that you glaze the top of you fruit with some melted jam to hold everything in place! To do this put about 1 tablespoon of jam into a small saucepan and 'let it down' with a tablespoon of water. Warm it through enough to make it runny, not boiling. Then brush it over the top and let it set.
Fruit Salad
This is a simple fruit salad which you can serve with ice cream, Pannacotta or fold through some lightly crushed meringues.
200g raspberries
1-2 tablespoons icing sugar
250g strawberries, hulled
250g blueberries
Puree the raspberries with a stick blender, then pass it through a sieve into a bowl to remove all the pips
Add enough icing sugar to make it taste nicely sweet but with a hint of tartness. At this stage you could also add a little shredded basil or finely chopped up mint.
Thickly slice the strawberries and toss them into the raspberry sauce.
Then add the blueberries
Leave to stand in a cool place, NOT in the fridge for about an hour to macerate. Then serve with your favourite topping.
Strawberry and Elderflower Cocktail
250g strawberries, plus a few extra to garnish
150ml elderflower cordial
Ice cubes to your taste, about 30!
200ml Vodka!
Roughly chop up the strawberries add the cordial, or puree them with the cordial in a blender. This can be smooth or a little coarse depending upon you taste.
Put you ice cubes in a strong plastic bag and then wrap that up in a tea towel and give it a real good bash with a rolling pin! Alternatively blitz them in a good strong blender.
Divide the crushed ice between 4 glasses, ideally chilled.
Put yourself a good slug of vodka into each glass then top up with the strawberry and elderflower puree. Give it a good stir and garnish with a couple of slices of strawberry or even a sprig of elderflower.
Warning this is quite Moorish and it goes down so easily! But if you think it could be a little too strong, dilute the vodka with a little soda water or sparkling water, or you could replace the alcohol with apple juice. Either way it's delicious!
Gooseberry and Elderflower Cobbler
2 tablespoons of elderflower cordial
750g gooseberries. Topped and tailed
25 caster sugar
2 strips of lemon zest or 3 tablespoons lemon juice
For the Cobbler Topping
100g plain flour 2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
35g cold butter diced
75g ground almonds
35g caster sugar
1 large egg
75ml milk
25g flaked almonds
Place the gooseberries, cordial, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water into a pan and bring to the simmer and cook slowly for about 5 minutes until the juices flow.
For the crumble mix together all the crumble ingredients except the flaked almonds, to resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
Put the gooseberry compote into a wide shallow dish. Have a little taste at this stage. If it's too tart add a little more sugar. You want it sweet but with a hint of tartness.
Scatter the crumble topping over the top then scatter over the flaked almonds and bake in the oven at gas 5/190c for about 30 minutes
serve with double cream, custard or ice cream. Delicious!
Thyme Scented Raspberry Crumble
Raspberry filling
350g raspberries
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
125g thick plain yogurt
Crumble Mix
225g plain flour
Pinch of salt
200g cold unsalted butter cubed
150g demerara sugar
100g medium porridge oats
Mix all the crumble ingredients together with your fingertips until you have a crumbly dough.
Sprinkle this onto a greased baking tray and pop into the oven, gas 4/ 180c for about 25 minutes until golden brown. Then let it cool.
For the filling:
Crush about ¼ of the raspberries to get the juices flowing
Put it into a bowl with the uncrushed raspberries, the sugar and the thyme. Again, let it macerate for about an hour
Divide the raspberries into 4 glasses and top with a good dollop of the yoghurt.
Sprinkle the crumble over it and serve.